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Bid to buy Portpatrick Harbour for £1

Credit: ITV News Border

A community group wants to buy part of the harbour area in Portpatrick - for just £1.

The Portpatrick Harbour Community Benefit Society wants the council to sell them the picnic area at Ward Shore so they can develop it for tourism and commercial use.

The group already owns most of the area around the harbour.

“One of the Council’s top priorities is to be an inclusive Council by ensuring that local people and communities are at the heart of our decision making. Providing we agree that this is a viable and sustainable project, by transferring ownership of this strip of land at Ward Shore we will be ensuring that the Community are able to utilise whole of the harbour area."

– Councillor Marion McCutcheon, Chair of Wigtown Area Committee

Call for full review into £400,000 waste collection overspend

The Wigtownshire pilot scheme is massively over budget. Credit: PA

There have been calls for a full review of a new waste collection scheme in Dumfries and Galloway, which has cost hundreds of thousands of pounds more than anticipated.

The Zero Waste pilot collection scheme in Wigtownshire has cost around £400,000 more than expected.

Liberal Democrat MSP Jim Hume has already called for the scheme to be suspended, and now SNP Councillor Iain Dick is urging a "root and branch review" of the decision making, an implementation of, the scheme.

We know that there have been serious issues with the Zero Waste pilot in Wigtownshire and I have been asking questions about the way this has been done for months now. We know there is a £400,000 overspend already – and the rollout of Zero Waste hasn’t got any further than Wigtownshire yet.

We know that the review already undertaken by Kiel, which was rushed out late on before the last Committee meeting, has highlighted some serious problems with the Wigtownshire pilot.

What we don’t know yet is how we have ended up in the situation, what decisions led to the problems we now have and what external advice was sought and received. If we are to actually learn lessons from this exercise we need all the information.

That’s why today I’m calling for a full review of the whole process, including input from our external auditors and I hope that call will receive unanimous support.”

– SNP Councillor Iain Dick

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Plans to increase the size of two reservoirs in Wigtownshire

Plans are being drawn up to increase the size of two reservoirs. Scottish Water want to raise the height of the dam by 1.5m at Penwhirn Reservoir, which supplies most of Wigtownshire, and Black Elk reservoir, which supplies Dumfreisshire. It would increase the capacity of both by 35%

A public consultation event on the proposals is planned later this month.**

Nigel Graham-Smith, asset planner for the Wigtownshire area, said: "This proposed work will enable Scottish Water to meet water supply demands in times of low rainfall by enhancing the amount of water the reservoir can hold."

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MP's anger at wind farm rejection U-turn

Local MP Russell Brown is angry over the SNP’s decision to overturn an 11-turbine wind farm rejection in the region.

The Glenchamber wind farm in Wigtownshire was turned down by the council last year claiming it would have “significant adverse affects on the local area.”

This is the second rejection to be overturned by the Scottish Government after the Carscreugh Fell site near Glenluce was given the go ahead in March.

“The Scottish Government clearly doesn’t care what local opinion is about wind farms. For the second time in just a few months they have ignored the decision of the local council and railroaded through another wind farm that isn’t wanted."

– Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown

The decision comes after the Scottish Government wrote to the council in June to ask them to identify regions where companies can apply to erect new wind farms.

Russell Brown has now called for Scotland’s Energy Minister, Fergus Ewing MSP, to visit Dumfries and Galloway to hear concerns.

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